Institutionalizing Democracy: Constraint and Ambition in the Politics of Electoral Reform

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Fabrice Lehoucq, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Why do politicians reform the institutions that keep them in power? Why do they relinquish the ability to rig elections? The nonfraudulent 1988 Chilean plebiscite triggered the collapse of General Pinochet's sixteen year dictatorship. The fairness of the 1997 legislative elections in Mexico signaled the end of the PRI's sixty year stranglehold of the state. Fair elections typically result in the end of dictatorship and often a shift in government priorities. However, it is far from clear why incumbents would consent to hold and respect the outcomes of fair elections. Why they would relinquish power is a question of central importance to politics and political science.

Additional Information

Comparative Politics
Language: English
Date: 2000
Elections, Political Science, Government Reform, Costa Rica

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